Global reality television trends have allowed Eurovision’s influence to continue to grow (much to the delight of international fans), with a number of the contest’s stars exporting their talents to competition shows around the globe. Most recently, Eurovision 2015 and 2017 runners-up Polina Gagarina and Kristian Kostov have both been taking part in the seventh season of the massively successful Chinese talent show Singer (which has previously featured international stars such as the UK’s Jessie J and Kazakhstan’s Dimash).

The contest has seen both singers attempting to come out on top against a field of Chinese artists. Unfortunately for Kristian Kostov, that ambition will not become a reality, after he was eliminated in the latest episode of the show.

With a complicated structure of week-to-week qualifying, knockout, and challenge rounds, Kristian did well to keep his place in the show for six episodes.

However, the latest episode was just a step too far, and the Bulgarian singer ended up in last place during Friday’s voting following his performance of “Heaven Has Demons” (originally sung by Taiwanese singer Yoga Lin). This result meant he had to leave the competition.

Meanwhile, Russian star Polina Gagarina won the latest episode of the show. Singing her Eurovision 2015 entry “A Million Voices”, she delivered the pitch-perfect vocal power that Europe fell in love with four years ago.

Wearing a simple yet stunning white dress (though not quite as egg-shaped as her Eurovision stage dress), Polina had the audience clapping along to the anthem. She was rewarded with a standing ovation before she’d even finished singing.

This is Polina’s second win of the contest since joining the show in week four as a substitute for a previously eliminated singer. Polina has wowed audiences with her emotional delivery. She’s shown a level of comfort on the stage and in her performances that her (mostly male) competitors seem hard-pressed to match.

With the Chinese audience responding well to the Eurovision star so far, we’ll be hoping Polina can last all the way to the final, scheduled for 5th April.

Kristian and Polina’s Singer journeys

Week 1

Kristian has also performed his Eurovision entry on the show. In the first episode he sang “Beautiful Mess” to great effect. He was aided both by modern instrumental and traditional Chinese orchestration, which made the song sound richer in depth and emotion.  The staging also provided its own amount of brightness, energy, and mood. Kristian finished in fourth place, guaranteeing himself safety.

Weeks 2 & 3

As the competition has gone on, the road has gotten a little tougher. After taking on Adele’s “Hello” in the second episode and placing fifth, in week three Kristian performed a mash-up of the Gnarls Barkley hit “Crazy” and Ed Sheeran’s “Don’t”. While he delivered the songs with confidence and ease, the messy wardrobe and the arrangement may have turned some viewers off. He finished sixth, just one place away from elimination.

Week 4

Fast forward another week and Kristian impressed with his rendition of the emotional Mandarin song “Remember”, originally sung by Taiwanese Puyuma singer A-Mei. Kristian reclaimed a more solid position in the competition, finishing fourth for the week.

However, the standout performance of the episode came from the new competitor to the contest — Polina Gagarina.

Her first qualifying performance saw her wow the in-studio audience, and viewers alike, with a powerfully emotional rendition of “Кукушка” (“A Cuckoo”). The simple staging and lighting put Polina front and centre, where she should be. The accompaniment of the on-stage orchestra framed the star’s power vocals perfectly. She rode the wave of audience reaction to a first-place position.

Week 5

In week five things took a step backwards for Kristian, as he chose a mash-up of the Shawn Mendes hits “In My Blood” and “Stitches”. Unfortunately, this didn’t seem to resonate much with the audience. He ended up in fifth place — still safe, but not able to progress to the upper echelon of singers in the voting.

On the other hand, Polina delivered another emotionally stirring performance that had the in-studio audience eating out of the palm of her hand. Looking gorgeous and fierce in a simple red sleeveless gown, the Eurovision runner-up once again focused everyone’s attention on her, singing the Russian/Soviet folk song “Катюша” (“Katyusha”).

Showing an innate ability to connect the words and emotions and make you feel something (even if what she’s singing isn’t in your native language), Polina’s performance shined. Another strong week helped her finish second.

Having topped the table once again in week six, Polina will now continue on to the competition’s third round.

What do you think about Polina and Kristian’s performances on Singer? Do you think Polina can go all the way to the final? Let us know in the comments below!

Read more Bulgaria news here

Read more Russia news here

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Frankie
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Frankie

I watched it because Kristian was there and he did really well. All his performances were stunning.

Marieta
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Marieta

I am really disappointed by the fact that Kristian was eliminated. How come that for 5 days he is still #1 in QQ music platform with the same song he ended up in #7?! To be very frank, a blonde, good-looking woman will always be #1 in shows like this. I doubt that the other Chinese singers, who are legends there, will be able to dethrone her. I appreciate her talent, but i think she won the leading positions because of her appearance. She is the “exotic thing” that Chinese don’t have. I hope that Kristian will make it al… Read more »

beccaboo1212
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So sad to learn Kristian was eliminated. He sounded amazing. 🙁

Nate
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Nate

I’ll always say it: adult artists (not the younger ones) do their best perfomance of their eurovision songs at Eurovision. Once they do other performances of their songs later, it never reaches the emotional or joyful level it previously did (at least for me). I’ve seen it again with A Million Voices

Alkisti
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Alkisti

Well well well…. While Salvador is touring all over Europe in full respectable concert halls and about to launch his second album Kristian is being eliminated from a Chinese talent show, the second of his short career instead of studying music and becoming a real artist. How sad is that?…

Rose
Guest
Rose

There’s no need to bring others down. I like Salvador too but Kristan still has enough time to develop. Relax.

Alkisti
Guest
Alkisti

I am very relaxed. You seem the one who is stressed. And besides my point is that he waisting time in those talent shows instead of building his artistic individuality. Was he not supposed to be in Berklee? Or didn’t he get in?

Frankie
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Frankie

Mind you, Kristian was a minor at the Eurovision, so his parents took all the decisions for him. It’s not his fault that his family decided to scrap his first album, made in Sweden (2017) and appoint his brother and brother’s girlfriend his producers and managers, Russian bloggers – his stylists. He is very talented but so naive that it hurts. He will learn the tough way.
As to the bottom reference – one man’s floor is another man’s ceiling. Very unflattering and totally unfair title, have you watched his performances at all? Were you sitting on your ears?

josh
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josh

Kristian is a bottom? we been knew

Mariano Mon Amour
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Mariano Mon Amour

Polina is so elegant. When she revealed the second red dress, those men were dying. Beyonce take note, you …….

Polegend Godgarina
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Polegend Godgarina

“top and bottom” sksksksj

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

polegend godgarina LITERALLY

Miki Bihon
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Miki Bihon

She should just win it until the end.

Skiwalko
Guest
Skiwalko

Oh Christ, Polina is a force of nature.
Fantastic performances.

Roy Moreno
Guest
Roy Moreno

I saw it on my recommendations on Youtube and I fell in love with their performances! So happy you wrote about it!
Polina is such a great artists, I’m glad she’s doing so well in Russia and the contest
Krisitan will always have a place in my heart! Such a lovely person 🙂
His performance of Beautiful Mess was so beautiful with that Chinese instruments! Great addition 🙂
I strongly hope he will have a succesful career, he deserves it!

Purple Mask
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Purple Mask

Polina at her very very best.
A stunning performance, and a great moment for Chinese TV. Love it.

destroy1234
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destroy1234

Well he still has a chance in the Revival

Fast Food Music Lover
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Fast Food Music Lover

The show is great but it leans towards artistes with big voices which Polina clearly has compared to Kristian.

Peters
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Peters

Chinese usually love big vocals singers. You can look back the past winning singers. Plus, the reaction for Beautiful Mess in the first ep was quite underwhelming here compared to what Europeans thought in 2017.

olvresc
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olvresc

Polina is so beautiful <3 and so talented

Alex M
Guest
Alex M

So the russian singer who participated in Putin’s elections campaign, won the Chinese talent show with a Soviet’s militaristic propaganda song.
That sounds a little bit funny, if you ask me.

Shanfa Chai
Guest
Shanfa Chai

No, she hasn’t won.

She was voted first place by the Chinese audiences in the first and the latest episode she competes in.

Isti
Guest
Isti

“So the russian singer who participated in Putin’s elections campaign” And what? This is not our business….

Jingo
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Jingo

Due to the strict censorship law which bans all lgbt content in Chinese media?Chinese tv shows are always generic and uninspiring.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

the list of banned things in chinese media is actually pretty long

Briekimchi
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Briekimchi

As you said, Kristian did well to last the number of episodes that he did. The substitute thing is quite confusing.
Polina sang MUCH better than she did at Eurovision btw.

Peters
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Peters

As a Chinese, let me tell you why she sounded much better than she did at Eurovision. Because our Chinese singing shows usually use autotune on post-production. The sound of the voice was greatly enhanced.

Óliver
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Óliver

yep?that’s why I never feel the singers in this contest are genuine.

Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

And the point of that in a singing contest would be…?

Jingo
Guest
Jingo

It’s more like a contest for the sound editors instead of the singers.

Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

Haha as long as someone wins. 😉